It seems like the parents of our musical heritage are passing on, its time, it shows us all that the clock ticks constantly. Each day there are posts of people we love in the world of entertainment being taken from us by the long sleep of life. As i get older the days glow ever brighter but seem to race by like clouds, send in the clouds. The internet joins our hands as we post pictures and thoughts, prayers and love for those who have gone from view. Its so sad and heartbreaking to witness the long faces drawn in not so many words on Twitter and Facebook. Its been a very tragic month. Once upon a time our heroes died from too many drugs, too much of a good time, from being famous, but now as i get older its disease that kicks the feet out from under us. Thats life. This first month of the year is a time for seeding new ideas, i have been doing that, looking at words, writing chapters and trying to find the creative in my day. Its not all been plain sailing, but i have made a start, one foot in front of the other. Squeeze played a TV show and our twitter account blew a fuse as our Glenn changed the words to cradle to send a message to our Prime Minister who was also on the show, he heard nothing odd, he clapped and nodded. Afterwards he said to us, ‘you know what i think thats going to be a hit!’ It was amazing to see the reaction we got, legends, heroes and all. Not i surely, the spectacled guitar player with no political bones in his wrist. Shed a light dear boy, well it was him all along, and im happy that we twittered off the branch. It was a genius move that only happens once in a blue moon. What a moon.
I went to Real World Studio’s first time in 26 years, to run a songwriting workshop with buddy Peter Bradley for a young band called Little Hours. One lively night Kevin Montgomery played a song his dad wrote with Buddy Holly, Heartbeat. Beth Nielsen Chapman played a number one song she wrote for Willie Nelson – Nothing I Can Do About It. What could be better than that. The nights were never boring. Others there to sup the soup were Graham Gouldman, Nik Kershaw, Gary Clarke, Martin Brammer, Ricky Ross, Mark Nevin, Shelly Poole, Blair Mackitchen, James Earp, Marty Longstaff, Richard Nicholson, and the boys themselves. It was creative and i was happy for them being treated to such great ideas each day in such a wonderful studio. The last time i was there i remember two things, stashing local ale in a flagon just below the water line in the river outside. To keep it cold. We were recording Play at the time. I also remember waiting with joy to hear my duet with Glenn on one of our songs, it was the Some Fantastic Place album, only to hear my voice mixed out completly. I retired to my room in a right sulk. Swallow me say swallow me. Maybe my voice belongs on the cutting room floor. I have my very own cutting room floor to brush up on these days.
Its been a nice month full of wind and rain, wind and more rain and a little coldness too but then it is January old prune. I met David Gilmore this month, what a real treat that was, i shared my Floyd tales and he listened politely, he and his wife Polly were lovely lunch partners and at last i can say i know how they submerged an Octopus beneath the stage at Crystal Palace in 1971. I was not stoned, it did happen and now i know how. Mushrooms and smoke, sent your controls, it was a fabulous day out. Mountain, The Faces, Quiver, i mean thats a very cool ticket. This was the set list set list, Atom Heart Mother, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Fat Old Sun, Return Of The Son Of Nothing (early version of Echoes), Set the Controls, Embryo, Saucerful Of Secrets and so on. Jesus, and yes he was there too. They were great shows, it think the following year i saw Elton John play and then The Beach Boys after that.
Squeeze played the Crystal Palace Bowl some years later with Level 42, we were in support, but its not really Pink Floyd and The Faces is it? I remember a good review in Q magazine around that time, Glenn hated the review and the journalist was backstage, he was cold shouldered from a dressing room window as he walked by. I love playing live, i can’t wait for the summer shows coming up and all the solo slots along the way, its the balance of the sugar and the flour that makes for a great cake. Playing live when we first met found us at a small festival in Devon, it consisted of a small caravan of freaks who camped out and decided the area was a cool place to hold a freakout. This was altogether a different cake, a dope cake. Im not sure how i felt about being onstage right after Hara Krishna but it was the only slot going, we were 40 feet apart on a wooden stage, two badly strung acoustic guitars and some songs we had both written. I shit myself, our very first festival experience, tripping out later that night we danced through a field of electric guitars, how times have moved on. We no longer dance or trip, but the cake is still full of the ingredients that make up our journey. January is a vivid month and i hope full of seeds that will sprout great things in the months ahead. One of 12, We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. It was, i did and the rest is Geography.